Gillies Mackinnon

Small Faces; Regeneration


Voted in the directors’ poll

Voted for



Wong Kar Wai

Come And See


Elem Klimov

Goodbye Solo


Ramin Bahrani

I am Cuba


Mikhail Kalatozov

Inland Empire


David Lynch

Monster's Ball


Marc Forster



Claude Lanzmann



Andrei Tarkovsky

strada, La


Federico Fellini

Two Legged Horse


Samira Makhmalbaf


Rather than fretting over the word ‘great’, I have chosen ten films which have stayed in my mind long after seeing them. With a great effort of will I have not included Bicycle Thieves, Wild Strawberries or Seven Samurai this time round

Stalker: It remains the most unsettling and haunting experience. I think Tarkovsky is a kind of hypnotist and what interests me most are the thoughts which slip into my mind when I am watching the film. Read ZONA by Geoff Dyer – an often-irreverent blow-by-blow account of the film which obsessed him for 30 years.

Come and See: I’ll never forget the opening, the children digging for guns, then the bombing of the forest. The young boy ageing before our eyes. The final two scenes make this the most moving war film ever.

Shoah: The most important historical film I have seen. Schindler’s List for grown ups.

Inland Empire: It’s like I woke up inside Lynch’s dream or unconscious mind. The mental freedom required to make a film like this!

Two Legged Horse: The best and most honest contemporary cinema I see is from Iran, and many of their filmmakers are in prison. This is a stunning, big human story: far bigger than its budget.

La Strada: Must mention at least one old classic. Anthony Quinn and Giulietta Masina are heart breaking.

2046: Chinese friends tell me this is no more than one big piece of confectionary. But I find it full of sadness and longing.

I Am Cuba: A visual feast by a Russian director in Cuba with Soviet propaganda woven in. You will see why Coppola and Scorsese were inspired.

Goodbye Solo: Must mention a fabulous American independent which not many have seen. Directed by an American of Iranian descent, with a brilliant performance from Souleymane Sy Savanet as an emigrant African taxi driver playing opposite former stuntman and Elvis Presley bodyguard Red West. This gem came out the blue for me.

Monster’s Ball: Another small American gem, scripted by Milo Addica. The day after seeing it I was effortlessly able to recite back whole scenes – fabulous dialogue and a great cast. Worth seeing for the late Heath Ledger’s performance alone.

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